A Harvest moon full moon peaks over New York City on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 5:05pm.
What is the Hunter’s Moon?
It is the first full moon after the Harvest Moon, which in the northern hemisphere is the full moon nearest the fall equinox. Our friends and family in the southern hemisphere have a completely different perspective because the seasons are opposite.
A moon looks look full to us on the night before and the night after.
Depending on when you see it, the Hunter’s Moon may look bigger and oranger than normal.
In the United States, our names for the full moons come from the Indigenous first Americans. It’s time for hunters to stock up on meat for the coming winter.
Why does it look Bigger?
The moon doesn’t actually change size. This is an optical illusion based on the moon’s relation to the entire scene.
High up in the sky, the moon looks smaller in relation to the big sky. Close to the City it appears bigger.
Why is it Orange?
It’s another optical illusion. The moon doesn’t change color. It is only our perception of it that changes.
The moon reflects sunlight as something close to white. But white light is made up of all the colors of the spectrum. Warmer (reddish) colors have a long wavelength. Cooler (blueish) colors have a shorter wavelength.
When the moon is low on the horizon, its light has to pass through more of the earth’s atmosphere. Dust in the air disrupts shorter wavelength light. The warm colors with their longer wavelengths get through, so the moon appears a reddish- orange.
This moonrise will be especially orange because this moonrise is especially close to sunset.